10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

Commission Minutes – August 14 -18, 2023

Commission Minutes – August 14 -18, 2023

 \MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2023


PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder


The Pledge of Allegiance was held in the Commissioner’s Office to start off the week.


          Chad and Mandi Varner, Members of the Public joined. Shared their concerns regarding the golf course. Two weeks ago, it was raining, and the golf course was being watered. The Women’s tournament was cancelled due to the amount of water; Sunday, the course was being watered again. Also, this past Friday, as people were golfing the golf course superintendent was running around turning sprinklers on ahead and behind golfers. Everyone is frustrated; it is too wet, and they are watering. The impression given to the Varner’s was that it was intentional and felt something needs to happen. Why are we watering when people are golfing; why don’t they wait until no one is on the course? The Commission explained portions of the sprinkler system have to be manually controlled. These issues will be repaired but it will take some time. Chad discussed posting times they will be watering as part of the solution or hand watering the greens. Discussed the employees that live here taking care of the sprinkler system, such as when it rains, and they are also watering. They paid their $600 membership to show their support for the county and the country club. Commissioner Baldwin stated the Commission is appreciative of their support. This was their first-time out golfing this season; discussed people golfing after work with friends and family but they start watering before it is dark, when golfers are still on the course. Mandi reiterated the timing and the way the sprinklers were turned on seemed intentional.

          Commissioner Braun stated, we need to come up with a solution; we need to get the pumps repaired, the greens going and repair the sprinkler system; but it won’t happen overnight. We also need to stop watering when there are people on the course. Again, discussed posting watering times. Commissioner Braun stated they plan to dial down the sprinkler heads. Mandi asked about the I-pad they had that controlled the sprinkler system; Commissioner Braun explained it was outdated. Mandi feels it is hard when you have someone that does not live here and is not vested in our community. Chad asked when they would know the solution.  The Commission will have a conversation with the golf course superintendent about the concerns shared and make a decision on the best approach for the remainder of the season. Discussed upcoming tournaments and the best way to manage watering due to the weather. Also discussed closing the greens again for seeding purposes. The Varner’s understand there will be times when temporary greens will be used.

          Chad stated they wanted to share their concerns as well as the sentiments of others. Without people you do not have a course and feels the people are the priority.  The Commission was appreciative of their input. 

9:19 AM Chad and Mandi left Public Comment.

9:45 AM Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder and Kathy Newell, Election Clerk joined.

        Kathy discussed the possibility of an upcoming mill levy election for childcare. If the resolution would be turned in now, this would push the election to 2024, which is the presidential election year. The thought is to recommend a 3-year mill levy, which would put the election in an odd year and the odd year cycle for future elections if needed, (when there are no large elections). If they were to ask for further elections, they would be for a 2-year mill levy. Debbie explained this does not make any difference to anyone, but the Election Department. Debbie also explained it could be confusing to the public if the election were held in 2024 because of the possibility of multiple ballots being mailed around the same time. Debbie and Kathy wanted to present their thoughts to the Commission before proceeding.  The Commission stated they have no problem with the first mill levy request to be for 3 years, and if any additional mill levy requests are made for childcare, it would be for 2-years.

9:49 AM Debbie and Kathy left Public Comment. 

10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Mark Sieler, Road Foreman; Mitch Overn and Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics

         Road/Shop Updates/Commissioner Baldwin stated the road crew needs to place an auto gate, purchased by the landowner, at 981 Pennel Road. Clayton Graham would also like a couple loads of gravel hauled on the county road before the fair event that will be held at his barn; Mark will go take a look at the road. One of the new blades will be arriving on Wednesday. They continue to work on the city street project; they are currently waiting for Brosz Engineering, to inspect/engineer the drain by the Shepherd residence. The loader is almost finished. The landfill scraper will be brought in for various maintenance items. Landfill garbage truck tires need to be replaced.  Commission granted permission to purchase new tires. The Landfill would like the utility vehicle that was once kept at the Fairgrounds. Mark reported the golf course sand is stored in the county shop yard. The Commission stated, the sand was a first come first serve, but the golf course crew will be using it when they start seeding. The road crew started mowing so are short crew to work on other projects. Discussed the shed at the Shooting Range.

10:19 AM Mark, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.

10:20 AM Brittany Renner, EMS Program Manager joined.

         Discussed the graduation event; they had a really great turnout. Discussed fees charged for county and non-county events. Commissioner Rost-Since this is an Enterprise Fund, all county departments and non-county departments should be charged a fee for their services because Enterprise Funds are to be self-sufficient. Discussed upcoming fair events and what should be charged for the event at the Clayton Graham arena. The existing fee schedule was found and will use those prices at this time. Discussed updating protocols and fee schedule for the Emergency Medical Service; so, it can be reviewed and adopted. 

10:30 AM PERMISSION TO HIRE EMT’S/Brittany Renner, EMS Program Manager; Julie Straub, HRM

          They would like permission to hire Peter Veal and Lisa Kilsdonk as EMT’s for the EM Service.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to hire Peter Veal and Lisa Kilsdonk as EMT’s for the Ambulance Service. Brittany discussed how personnel issues, if any, are to be handled with her fiancé (Peter Veal). Any employment actions will come before the Commission. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked if there was any further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

          The Commission would like to commend Brittany for getting the classes scheduled and following through to the hiring process.

10:37 AM Julie left the meeting.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve and extend the Best Practice Medicine Agreement for an additional 90 days.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

10:41 AM Brittany left the meeting.

11:00 AM PERMISSION TO USE THE GOLF COURSE FOR CROSS COUNTRY MEETS SCHEDULED IN SPETEMBER & OCTOBER/Aaron Skogen, Baker Superintendent of Schools; Bill Brist, Athletic Director

          Commissioner Baldwin asked if the Recreation Department would be able to store a connex box on school property. Aaron did not think that would be a problem, he will check and get back to the Commission. 

         Cross Country-Baker Schools will have its own cross-country team this year. They would like to host two (2) meets in Baker and would like to ask permission to use the golf course. Cross country utilizes the fairways or just off the fairways but does not use the greens. They like to keep them off the roadways and find the golf courses offer the best options for the 3.1-mile run. Due to the size of our golf course, they would set up two (2) different loops that would fit within the space available. This alleviates traveling every weekend and allows the parents the ability to watch them at home. They would like to utilize the course September 16th and October 14th (both Saturdays). The set up is fast and is all temporary, however, if there are special needs from golf course maintenance, they will do whatever is needed. They have four (4) individuals out for cross-country at this time but are hoping for more. The Commission granted permission to use the golf course for the cross-country meets and will notify the Golf Course Superintendent and the Seasonal Lead Crew hand. 

11:08 AM Barbara Ketterling, Treasurer/Assessor joined.

11:09 AM Aaron and Bill left the meeting.

          Barb brought the July, 2023 cash report for the Commission to review.

11:12 AM Barb left the office.


          The Commission reviewed revenues received, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas. The Commission signed Certificates of Appreciation for Barb Ketterling, Treasurer/Assessor for 35 years of service and Kim Saggio, Emergency Communications Dispatch Supervisor for 10 years of service to Fallon County. Thank you, your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.

1.Old Business (as needed)

          a.Sign DIS Technologies Agreement for IT support for the Sheriff Office/City of Baker Polic Department/Fallon County Dispatch/Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff/Coroner

          Commissioner Baldwin signed the updated agreement, previously agreed upon. Trenton will bring it back when he has received all required signatures.

          b.Moving Wells Fargo Trust to Bank of Baker (any decisions needed)

              The County Attorney is reviewing previously received information. 

          c.Hospital basement maintenance (any decisions needed)

             No further decisions have been made as of this time.

          d.Review/Discuss EMS billing practices/rates (discussion/decisions as needed)

            Discussed earlier today with EMS Program Manager, will work on policy/billing rate updates.  

          e.Approval of Fair Contracts/Other Fair Business (as needed).

             No further contracts or Fair business to come before the Commission. 

          f.Review/Discuss/Decision Ambulance bid/process to purchase

             No further action has been taken at this time.

          g.Approve/Sign Chamber/Fallon County MOU

             Not complete as of this time.

          h.Approve/Sign Peaks Planning Agreement

              Not complete as of this time.

          i.Approve/Sign Agreement between Fallon County and EMEDA for use of County Land for purposes of Food Forest

             Not complete as of this time.

          j.Discuss set-up/policies/procedures for gate permit system

              Not complete as of this time.

          k.Other Old Business as needed

          Richard Menger, Sanitarian stated he inspected all coolers at the fairgrounds. One of the coolers in the Lutheran booth needed to be serviced, Rich contacted Straub Heating and Cooling. Rich will also be inspecting all of the vendor food trucks when they arrive.


3.Review& Approve Encroachment Permits (as needed)

4.Review Board Minutes/Agendas (Boards other than Commission)

5.Review Department/office reports/sign journal vouchers (as needed)

6.Executive/Action items:

   a. MOA between ST of MT – Department of Transportation and Fallon County

        Commissioner Baldwin signed the FY23 MOA between the State of Montana and Department of Transportation for the Council on Aging program.

   b.Sign Purchase Order with RDO for a 2023 John Deere loader

       Commissioner Baldwin signed the purchase order with RDO for a 2023 John Deere loader.

   c.Sign Guaranteed Buyback terms with RDO for 2023 John Deere loader

       Commissioner Baldwin signed the guaranteed buyback with RDO for the 2023 John Deere loader.

   d.Sign the State of MT Vendor Invoice for the Motor Vehicle Disposal Grant Program

Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the State of Montana Motor Vehicle Disposal Grant program vendor invoice. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

   e.Decision to terminate interlocal agreement with the City of Baker for County Planning Board and Professional Staff and the agreement for funding and operation of the Fallon County Planning Board and Staff

    Sent to the County Attorney to review. 

11:43 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.

Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

          NOON RECESS

PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder



         No one appeared for Public Comment.


          After much discussion, the decision is to tentatively schedule the repairs to be made and a new test to be performed. They should arrive at approximately 11:30 AM, August 22, 2023 with Caleb Dill, Johnson Controls and the TKE mechanic present. Caleb will bring extra relay switches in case they are needed for the repairs. Both TKE and Johnson Controls employees will travel from Billings to Baker. The Commission thanked everyone for their participation in this call. 


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the August 7 – August 11, 2023, minutes. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously. 

2:30 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to recess.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.



                                                                                                s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman                            

s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder